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Practical Reflash Tuning: Step 1: Downloading Stock ROM

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Step 1: Downloading Stock ROM

04.15

00:00 - The very first step of our six step process is to download the existing ROM file or calibration out of our ECU.
00:08 This allows us to save that in a safe place, this gives us a ROM file that we can always revert to at a later point if anything goes wrong and we don't like the direction we're going with the calibration we're working on.
00:20 We can also use this stock ROM file as a comparison file, making it really easy to see exactly what changes we've made and we can then use that compare file just to revert selected tables or parameters back to the values that they were in that stock calibration.
00:38 Before we can download the calibration or ROM file out of our ECU, we need to start by installing the VCM suite software on our laptop.
00:47 Now it's always a good idea to make sure that you're working with the latest version, this is updated reasonably regularly.
00:54 And making sure you stay on top of these updates is important to make sure that you've got access to all of the latest parameters in the scanner, as well as additional functions such as speed density calculation for the Ford ECU which was added relatively recently before we filmed this worked example.
01:12 Once you've got the software installed on your laptop you can then connect the HP Tuners interface between your laptop and the OBD-II diagnostic port on your vehicle.
01:23 Next we can key on the vehicle and we can then perform a read.
01:26 In order to do this, all we want to do is click on the little read icon that we can see on our toolbar here.
01:33 This will then open up the vehicle reader box which we can see, and we can click read.
01:39 Now this process can take several minutes.
01:42 It's important while you're doing this to make sure that your laptop is powered and it's also important to make sure that the battery in the vehicle is in good condition or alternatively you can connect a booster pack to the battery during the reading and also the writing process.
01:58 Let's go ahead and wait for that read to complete now.
02:16 Once the ROM file has been successfully read out of the ECU, we've now got the opportunity to save it.
02:22 What we want to do here is give this file a sensible name so that we're going to be able to easily locate this later.
02:29 This becomes much more important once we've tuned several 100 vehicles potentially and we've got a lot of files stored on our laptop.
02:36 Now it doesn't really matter what naming strategy you come up with.
02:40 Personally I use the registration plate of the vehicle along with a description of the vehicle and finally a description of the calibration.
02:49 And this is a convention that I try and stick with and I suggest that you do the same, regardless how you name your files just make sure that you're consistent.
02:57 So what we're going to do here is give this a name of the registration, then I've added Ford F150 SC for supercharger and then base tune.
03:06 We're going to save that now.
03:08 Now if you haven't already licensed the file which is quite likely the first time you read from the ECU, you'll also have the opportunity to then license the file and this will allow you to apply some credits to that file, unlocking the ECU and allowing you to actually perform any tuning work.
03:27 It's also a good idea at this time, just to make sure that you're not going to end up accidentally overwriting that file once you've made changes, to also use the save as function and give the file a different name.
03:41 In this case we'll use the term tuned at the end of it.
03:45 So let's go and do that now.
03:47 We'll go to our file menu and we'll click save as.
03:49 And all we're going to do here is just change base tune to tune.
03:54 You could quite likely also use a term such as final tune.
03:58 So this will now mean that we are working on that tuned file, so any changes won't affect the base calibration or base ROM that we've just downloaded.